Help prevent suicide, know the signs

The Crisis Line Association of BC and its member agencies support provincial and national efforts to prevent suicide.

The Crisis Line Association of BC and its member agencies support provincial and national efforts to prevent suicide.

This includes representatives from the Canadian Mental Health Association in Williams Lake who are hosting a free workshop on suicide awareness and prevention this Thursday, Sept. 4.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the  Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre next to city hall.

Suicide is an issue that is hard to talk about and, and for many, harder to understand, say event organizers.

Every year more than 800,000 people die from suicide; roughly one death every 40 seconds. In 2012, it is estimated that for each completed suicide there were 27 others who made suicide attempts.

The reasons for suicide can be complex, but event organizers say they know that psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors can all be involved.

Studies have also shown that social isolation can increase the risk of suicide and, conversely, that having strong human bonds can be protective against it.

Crisis Lines play an indispensible role in supporting those that have become disconnected from others and offering them support can be a life-saving act.

“For many people, calling a Crisis Line and hearing a Crisis Line worker’s voice on the other end is like grabbing a life line in the ocean when the ship has capsized and the waves have become too overwhelming,” said Jancie Breck, B.C. crisis line president.

“There is a sense of relief knowing that someone cares and that there is hope.”

The local Crisis Line number is 1-888-353-2273. Trained volunteers and staff respond 24-7 with emotional support, and when needed, intervention.

BC’s dedicated 1800SUICIDE toll-free number alone responded to 6,791 calls for help in 2013.

For more information, contact Janice Breck at 250-398-8220 ext. 2040 or Bettina Egert at 250-398-8220 ext. 2020.